Do we consider ourselves rich? Or poor? Do we struggle to make ends meet, or are we comfortable?
So many of us are wealthier than we realize. When we compare our lives with those who truly don't know where the next meal is coming from, or even if there will be a meal, we are blessed beyond measure. When we snuggle under our quilt and sleep, there are many who shiver under cardboard.
Christ told us that the poor "would always be" with us, and He commanded us to tend to His lambs. James' letter encourages us to pay attention to those who are in need of food or clothing. Poverty was a crippling thing in the time of the New Testament church, and it still is now. We should look for ways to assist those who are less fortunate than ourselves.
Wait a minute. This is good. This is right. But are we missing something?
Should we be concerned about the rich, too?
Quit shaking your heads.....I'm not totally bonkers here!
Jesus said that it's very difficult for the wealthy to enter the kingdom of heaven. He said that those who love their life too much find it hard to lose it. James reminded his readers that it was the rich who dragged them into court; and the word "miser" is the root of the word "miserable."
The love of money isn't just the source of evil, but it can contribute to depression and dissatisfaction as well!
Doesn't that mean that the rich have just as many spiritual needs as the poor? Who will tell them of Christ? Who will train them to cheerfully give their wealth to others? Who will teach them to stop keeping score in who is richer than whom? Who will urge them to help at the soup kitchens? To assist with a clothing drive?
Imagine with me, if you will, how many millions of people will be making a trip this week, home to family and friends. A turkey or ham in the middle of the table, and wonderful side dishes surround it. There will be many who talk about their lives and share and catch up....they'll focus on what they do to keep their lives going and cover up that big unfulfilled whole inside of them.
Some will spend a few minutes at the table saying how thankful they are; that they are glad to have their health; that they are glad to be with family. Then they will eat their meal, stare with glazed eyes at a football game, or fall asleep. Some may try to avoid certain hurtful subjects, get annoyed, or even have a row and shout at each other.
Or, if we are truly rich, there will be genuine thanks,heartfelt prayers, true giving, and worship of the Father God Who has blessed us so abundantly.
although saddened, we are always glad; we seem poor, but we make many people rich; we seem to have nothing, yet we really possess everything. (II Corinthians 6:10)I'd like to challenge all of us this week (including our friends in other countries....I know that this is the United States' Thanksgiving week, not y'alls!) to take the love of Christ with us to the poor and to the ones who seem wealthy. While you're all together, figure out a way that your crew can do something for the impoverished. Find a soup kitchen and help serve a meal. Go through the closets and find warm clothes and blankets to donate. Take a stint at a bell-ringer post and wish everyone a Christ-filled Christmas. Go through the pantry and pull together the largest donation you can for the local community assistance group. While we're at it, this makes an excellent time to share our testimony of love, redemption, and blessings from Jesus.
I promise, our Thanksgiving will not only be full of good food, and warmth, but also full of comfort, peace, and joy in our Savior.